Sunday, 6 July 2014

Getting Our Leg On

As we move through the first really bad heat wave of the summer, riding has slowed down to almost a halt.  The evenings are hot and storm clouds fill the skies most nights.  When I go out to the barn, Koda is usually covered in salt sweat stains and the clouds are rolling in.  I refuse to ride when there's thunder and lightening, so Koda has had an impromptu almost week off.  Now that things are cooling off, we're slowly getting back into a rhythm, and it's all about putting into practise this new way of riding.

Storm over the canola fields
Taking on these new challenges and changing how I've been riding is an exciting time.  When I find that balance of enough leg (ha... enough... there's never enough!) and just the right tension and weight in my shoulders and elbows, along with keeping the tempo and rhythm down, it feels like we're floating.  Koda will never be a 10+ mover, he's just not built for it, but with me doing whatever I can to help him move lightly, he'll be at his best.  Now is especially a crucial time since we're building and stretching all of those muscles along his topline.  I've noticed that every time something starts to get a bit squirrely, it's because my legs aren't on.  At all.  So!  To remedy that, my legs are constantly getting put through their paces.  Yay for developing legs of iron.

Internal Monologue:

"Yes!  Arms are soft, elbows are weighted, I'm not tight in my shoulders and chest, perfect..."
"But why is his back dropped?  Why does it seem like I'm riding a giraffe"
"Oh sh*t, legs ON!  But don't speed up, stay steady, stay relaxed..."
"There it is!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

My new 'mantra' I guess you could call it is 'soften to his soften'.  Grammatically, it doesn't make sense, but it really has helped me stay soft and steady in my riding, to be a kinder and more in-tune rider.  After these types of rides, it's satisfying to see that both Koda and I are all sweated up.  I've started keeping drinks in my trailer and bringing treats out to the barn as after my rides I'll sit on my trailer hitch and let Koda graze while I nibble on my snacks.  It's a wonderful time in the evening, mosquitoes aren't that bad, he's contentedly grazing while I refuel with some snap peas and gatorade.

Peaceful, lovely, satisfying.

Nothing much else is going on right now, the jumps will be pulled out into the back field soon, so I'm hoping I'll get some fun helmet cam video or maybe entice someone to come out to take a few photos.

Sorry for the lack of updates/media outlet!  As the big day arrives, things are going to be more and more hectic.  The countdown is on!  13 Days left of having a Fianc√©!

1 comment:

  1. Congrats on almost being married! I like the soften to his soften, makes sense to me, it's something I think most struggle with. Hey we have a lot of parts to keep track of, ours and theirs lol.